As the Arizona State Sun Devils wrapped up their spring practice schedule Thursday in Tempe, things looked a little different on the field.
Senior defensive tackle Will Sutton wore ASU’s prized PT42 camouflaged jersey for the second straight day, but he wasn’t the only one wearing it. Cornerback Osahon Irabor, safety Alden Darby and linebacker Chris Young also sported the special practice threads.
“It’s not that we’re going to just put it on the best players, I think Will is going to finish with a 3.0 GPA this semester,” head coach Todd Graham said. “It’s a national champion mentality with a Pat Tillman standard on the field, off field, in the classroom and in the community.
“We’re trying to create peer pressure in people wanting that jersey, and I think that jersey means a lot to them. Those guys were excited today.”
The idea started last season when Darby wore the jersey for one practice last October, but Graham says it will be a year-round program.
“Even with our summer program,” he said. “When we get into the fall, our offense has a maroon camo, the defense has the green and we have black for special teams.
“It’s pretty hard to get them, and then you’ve got to keep it. That’s the key. You’ve got to keep it every day. So if you’re not doing something in any of those phases — you’ve got to have a service mentality or you’re not going to keep it.”
Although it’s a very special honor, Graham hopes to see a lot of the camouflaged PT42 jerseys heading into the 2013 campaign.
“I told (the players) if we can come out here and practice and those jerseys are dominating the scenery, we’ll have a chance to accomplish our goals,” the second-year head coach said. “That’s the only way we’ll get there.”
Graham happy with spring performance
The Sun Devils ended their 15-practice spring schedule, and Graham was pleased with what transpired on the Kajikawa Practice Facility fields.
“I feel great about the spring that we had, I’m very proud of our guys and proud of the development on and off the field,” he said. “We’ve put ourselves in position to have a chance by how we practiced this spring, but we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.”